Arsenal Appoint Mikel Arteta as Manager on Contract Until 2023

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Mikel Arteta of Manchester City before the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
Robin Jones/Getty Images

Arsenal on Friday appointed former midfielder Mikel Arteta as manager on a contract that will keep him at the cub until the summer of 2023.

The Gunners published a statement confirming the Spaniard's return to the Emirates Stadium, succeeding Unai Emery after he was sacked in November:

Arsenal @Arsenal

Welcome back, Mikel! 👋 Head coach of The Arsenal 👔 https://t.co/lhsAfQ7cfq

Arsenal @Arsenal

🥁 Introducing our new head coach... Mikel Arteta ✍️ https://t.co/PTmElGDMR3

The 37-year-old said he was delighted to be back at the Emirates Stadium:

"This is a huge honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that's been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club.

"We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that, but I am confident we'll do it. I'm realistic enough to know it won't happen overnight, but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy."

Arteta retired from playing in June 2016 and was swiftly appointed as one of Pep Guardiola's assistant coaches at Manchester City, helping the club to win back-to-back Premier League titles in 2018 and 2019.

Arsenal turned to another former player, Freddie Ljungberg, to lead the team on an interim basis following Emery's dismissal. The Swede has a record of one win, two draws and two losses in his short spell in charge.

Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News reported City sought clarification from their assistant manager after Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was pictured leaving his Manchester home on Dec. 16.

Arteta takes up his first senior managerial role and hopes to succeed where fellow Spaniard Emery could not, with the Gunners 10th in the Premier League. Per Sky Sports Statto, it's rare a manager with no experience takes over such a prestigious club:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Mikel Arteta becomes only the 5th man with no prior managerial experience to take permanent charge of a “Big Six” club in PL era Previously: Roy Evans - Liverpool, 1994 Ruud Gullit - Chelsea, 1996 Gianluca Vialli - Chelsea, 1998 Tim Sherwood - Tottenham, 2013 #Arteta @Arsenal https://t.co/uSv5F4XL3O

Arteta made 150 appearances for Arsenal during his playing career and won two FA Cups in north London. He will be hoping to restore their status as major silverware contenders both at home and abroad.

He will not take charge of Saturday's match against Everton, as his duties as head coach officially start on Sunday.